Pros: Great lather, nice fragrance, easy rinse-out, excellent body wash
Cons: Not the best deep cleanser for hair, may need to alterate with other products
So once again, I found myself at the store and VO5's were on sale as if the world was ending. People were stocking up like mad. I hate regular body washes--they cost too much and don't do anything a creamy shampoo doesn't--and they often add too much moisturizer inside. When I purchase shampoo, I do so with the idea that I'll be using it as an overall cleanser as well. But don't get me wrong--I want it for my hair, too. I'm not totally insane.
Why did I buy this product? Knowing full well that I intended to use my next purchase as a body wash and shaver, I scanned the aisle, wondering which way to turn. Everything was so colorful and each shampoo seemed to make outrageous promises that I knew wouldn't happen. No one's life is ever "transformed" in the shower. I've tried Suave before but it doesn't work as a body wash that well, and my hair didn't seem to take to it so much. I recently got highlites and purchased a salon shampoo for those needs, but still want something for in-between. When I saw the collection of VO5's, my eyes went for the Passion Fruit Smoothie. Then I laughed because once Bill Maher goes, "Why does my soap have to smell like food?" Okay, he's got a point, but when I flipped open the cap (easily done, no mess), the fragrance was really nice. The shampoo itself is off-orange and creamy. The creaminess suggested it would be a good body wash. The bottle is basic plastic, see-through and has the VO5 logo plus what I take to be a passion fruit sort of basking in a milky waterfall. When I glanced at the back, it didn't make any crazy, life-changing claims. It merely suggested (1) that the bather enjoy the zesty scent of passion fruit, (2) that special milk proteins make hair managable, and (3) that color-treated hair will benefit. I don't know what a real passion fruit smells like. I don't know what milk proteins do. But whatever. It sounded okay. My only concern was build-up. I hate the feeling that hair isn't coming clean. I've heard clear shampoos are better for cleaning but many of the Suave Naturals are clear, and for some reason, after a few washes, my hair feels heavy; some kind of film is left over. I bought the VO5 hoping to avoid that awful sensation halfway through the day, when your scalp begins to feel grimy and all you can do is count the seconds until you go home and shower again. I don't know what's in the Suaves. I wish they'd fix it, because they're so freaking cheap!
What did I love about this product? First of all, the fragrance was really enjoyable, and not at all offensive or overwhelming. I lathered up my loofah and the bubbles just exploded. They rinsed off easily and I didn't feel like anything was being left behind. I also didn't feel like my skin was drying out. The creaminess wasn't too thick and it wasn't runny, either. I only needed a small glob to produce a decent amount of foam. It dispensed well and didn't slip or slide all over. The bottle was easy to hold onto and the shampoo didn't spill. The flip-cap worked just fine, too. I used it to shave and the experience was equally sufficient: lots of bubbles and no dry-out. I had more than enough to finish my shaving routine. Then it was on to my hair. The lather wasn't as rich but there was enough, and the shampoo spread quickly. It was slippy, unlike with Suave, where you have to scrub to disperse the product through your hair; it's kind of a harder lather. I let VO5's bubbles rest on my head for under a minute then rinsed. The product came clean fast. In no time, it was out of my hair. Once my hair dried, it felt fluffy and residue-free, although I know hair can get "used to" a product and build up. I have others in my shower anyway, so this once seems great for alternate days. At the same time, I didn't feel like it was a particularly spectacular cleanser. My hair felt okay but it wasn't super-clean, as in clarified, although, oddly enough, it felt cleaner than VO5's actual "clarifying" shampoo. Weird, huh? But this one is sold as a moisturizing shampoo; I guess you aren't supposed to be clarified at the same time. In any case, I only needed minimal conditioner after and my hair brushed out well. My scalp didn't complain and my skin was clear; no break-outs, no irritation.
This is a decent shampoo and excellent body wash/shaver. It's under a dollar, so don't expect stupifying results. But you don't always get what you pay for, and as cheapies go, this one will be a regular in my routine of on-again-off-again shampoo. If anyone from Alberto-Culver glances this review, what we all want is a shampoo that cleans well, isn't super-expensive, doesn't build up to the point of absurdity, and only leaves behind a clean scalp, not its own residue.
I prefer the Moisture Milks collection to the clear varieties. You get a softer clean and your skin is silky afterward.